Ryan Kunkel

Ryan Kunkel

Company: Have a Heart

Title: Owner

Age: 35

For the past 12 months, the editorial staff at Marijuana Venture has compiled a list of candidates for our third annual 40 Under 40 feature. This year, we narrowed our list down from hundreds of worthy candidates to come up with a cross-section of personalities across the U.S. and Canada, from salt-of-the-earth farmers to tech savants. All of them have unique stories, successes and ambitions and all represent the excitement and promise of the cannabis business. We feel honored to share their stories and look forward to watching them push forward in our ever-evolving industry.

Ryan Kunkel has emerged as a force in Washington’s cannabis industry.

His Have a Heart retail stores have quickly risen to the top of the state in revenue, with the company’s flagship location in downtown Seattle now the top-selling marijuana store in the city.

Kunkel, who has a background in casino management, is quick to point out the importance of the people he hires.

“Employees are the secret to success at retail, and we invest heavily in them,” Kunkel says.

Creating a great customer experience has also weighed heavily in Kunkel’s decision-making process. He confesses to being heavily influenced by other successful retailers that are fanatical about customer loyalty and service like Nordstrom.

With six locations in Washington and another 15 licenses in California, Oregon and Hawaii, the 35-year-old entrepreneur has set his goals on creating the first truly national retail chain in the next 12 to 24 months.

“We are razor-focused on creating an expanding, profitable business, and I’ve assembled a team of experts that have years of experience in traditional retail,” Kunkel says.

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